Hgeocities.com/Colosseum/Sideline/6638/SoxTrot.htmlgeocities.com/Colosseum/Sideline/6638/SoxTrot.htmldelayedxNJp AOKtext/html@ jAb.HTue, 03 Apr 2001 15:25:05 GMTMozilla/4.5 (compatible; HTTrack 3.0x; Windows 98)en, *NJA Trot Nixon

#7 Trot Nixon

Trot Nixon in his Pawtucket days

The Boston Red Sox

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Nixon 2001, new and improved model!!

Trot can't take it after striking out against the Spankees Trot can't take it after striking out against the Spankees Daubach and Nixon feel the strain Where on earth is Nixon going..?!

Air Nixon Hard as nails 'A' for effort Trot listens to Jim Rice and his words of wisdom Wakefield congratulates Nixon Chris 'Trot' Nixon

The Info

1998 Stats

Full name: Christopher Trotman (Trot) Nixon
Age: 24
Height/weight: 6-2, 198
Team: Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox
Born: Durham
Resides: Charlotte
Hometown: Wilmington
Background: Selected with seventh pick in the first round of 1993
amateur draft by Boston after being named the state player of the year in
football and baseball at Wilmington's New Hanover High. Earned a football
scholarship to N.C. State as a quarterback and was named Baseball
America magazine's high school player of the year after hitting .519 with 12
homers and a state-record 56 RBIs as a senior. A left-hander, he was 12-0
with an ERA of 0.40 as a pitcher during his senior year. ... Named one of
Boston's top-10 minor-league prospects by Baseball America. ... Bothered
by back injury for parts of both 1994 and 1995 pro seasons. ... Hit a
career-high 20 homers in 1997 at Pawtucket. ... After a strong first half in
'98, Nixon last week became the lone Pawtucket player selected to play in
the Triple-A All-Star Game.

Trot's career stats

Some more info on Trot

Interview on the Pawsox web site
The Pawtucket Home Page

Words of wisdom

Trot Nixon listens, stars

By STEVE ELLING, Staff Writer


DURHAM -- Gerald Perry took
the naive approach.
The first-year hitting coach of the
Pawtucket Red Sox walked up to
fading phenom Trot Nixon this past
spring and asked a loaded question.
"How many home runs did you
have last year?" said Perry, a former
Atlanta Braves first baseman. "I had 20," said Nixon, an outfielder with Pawtucket.
"And you hit .244?" Perry said.
"Yeah," Nixon replied, unknowingly
falling deeper into Perry's disguised
trap. "That really [stunk]."
Perry paused before delivering the
punchline, the one that added both
punch and panache to Nixon's rekindled career.
"Well, you didn't get to the big leagues with 20 home runs," Perry said.
"Let's see if we can get you there with a .300 average."
This seemingly harmless, reconstructed conversation is offered for the
simple reason that it reconstructed what had become the rather harmless
career of Wilmington's Christopher Trotman (Trot) Nixon, one of the most
ballyhooed position-playing baseball prospects from North Carolina over
the past decade.
In his fifth full season with the Red Sox organization, Home-Run Trot
has become a deadly spray hitter, and after struggling for four years to
reach the atmospheric projections expected of him, he earned a spot in last
week's Triple-A All-Star Game.
Who could have believed that Perry's instructions to relax, have fun and
hit to all fields would be such a watershed event for the guy from the
waterfront?
"I bought into it," Nixon, 24, said of Perry's spiel. "What a difference."
Good thing, since the Boston Red Sox bought into him in a big way.
Nixon received a $1 million bonus after Boston made the two-sport prep
star its No. 1 draft pick in 1993, signing him through 1998.
During his senior year at Wilmington's New Hanover High, Nixon
possessed a rare mix of speed and power and seemed destined to patrol
center field at Fenway Park.
During his senior football season, Nixon broke school passing records
held by Sonny Jurgensen and Roman Gabriel, and earned a scholarship to
play quarterback at N.C. State. Nixon was so fast that his prep teammates
called him "White Lightning," which also applied to the heat administered by
his muscled left arm.
As a pitcher/outfielder, Nixon went 12-0 and drove in a state-record 56
runs as a senior. He homered in his final at-bat to lead New Hanover to the
state 4-A title. Baseball America magazine, in what hardly was viewed as a
stretch, named Nixon its national prep player of the year.
Small wonder that the Beantown bean counters coughed up a ton of
dough on the eve of the signing deadline, luring him off the football practice
field at N.C. State.
Nixon had more tools than the Watergate plumbers and also couldn't
wait to break in.
Nixon said he misses football but doesn't regret his decision to play
baseball.
"The things I miss about it [football] are the contact, the crowds, the
friends you make there,'' he said. "But I don't look at it as something like, 'I
wish I would have done that.' ''
Five years later, Nixon sits in the visiting dugout of Durham Bulls Athletic
Park, where Pawtucket is in the midst of a four-game series, and patiently
fields thinly veiled questions from hometown-area TV and print reporters
about what went wrong. Why it took so long to fulfill his potential.
Yet, he is smiling. When a guy is batting .314 with 10 homers, 39 runs
batted in and a team-high 15 stolen bases while batting mostly first or
second in the lineup, vindication is in the numbers, folks.
Previously, the minors had been more punitive than productive. A back
problem short-circuited two early seasons for Nixon in Class-A ball, but he
was promoted anyway. Boston pushed him ahead, perhaps rushing him.
"Maybe we did, I don't know," said Bob Schaefer, Boston's director of
player development. "But I always thought he was a guy who needed a
challenge."
It was that and then some. Eventually, other top Red Sox prospects --
such as Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Suppan and Carl Pavano -- blew past
him. As Nixon struggled in Double-A and Triple-A baseball, periodicals
dropped him from their organizational top-10 lists.
"I don't even read Baseball Weekly or Baseball America except to keep
up with how my friends are doing on other teams," he said. These days,
they're trying to keep up with him.
"He's been improving every day," Perry said. "Hopefully, if not this year,
then next year [he'll be promoted for good]."
It isn't so much that Nixon, who bats left-handed and throws
left-handed, re-invented the wheel, but he re-invented his wheelhouse.
Proof came Thursday night against the Bulls, when Nixon hung in on a
breaking pitch and lined a run-scoring double down the left-field line.
"I can tell ya, last year, that's a groundout to second," Nixon said. "No
way I get a hit on that last season."
Actually, a fastball down the pipe would have given him trouble in '97,
which was nightmarish by any standard, for the most part.
Promoted from Double-A after batting .251 with 11 homers, Nixon
struggled for two months at Pawtucket. Through the first 66 games at
Triple-A, he was batting .188.
"Last season?" he said. "It sucked. I've never, ever thought of myself as
a .250 hitter."
He wasn't even that, actually. Given his first-rate makeup, Nixon kept
grinding and team officials kept their fingers crossed. Each month last
summer, his batting average climbed. By season's end, he'd hit 20 homers
and driven in 61 runs while raising his average to .244.
After his second consecutive season of winter ball in Mexico, Nixon
walked into spring training in 1998 realizing that his can't-miss label might
soon be marked down to clearance prices.
"Something had to change," Nixon said.
Something did. Mix a few years of maturity and seasoning with his new
flat stroke -- more spray-maker than haymaker -- and his makeover was
complete.
"In spring training, [Boston manager] Jimy Williams said Trot was the
most improved player in camp," Schaefer said. "That made everybody feel
pretty good."
Goose bumps in sunny Florida don't last long, yet Nixon has been
batting .300 all season. While he may never be the middle-of-the lineup
power hitter that club officials envisioned five years ago, he has developed
into a potentially productive bat in the Nos. 2, 7 or 8 holes for Boston,
Schaefer said.
"I guess I had more to learn out of high school than I originally thought,"
Nixon said. "But I think I've become a good all-around player who can beat
a team in a lot of different ways."
Thursday against the Bulls, he bunted for a hit. Friday, he stole a base.
Saturday, he scored on a sacrifice fly. If he keeps up the versatility act -- he
already is considered Pawtucket's best defensive player -- he might still get
to Boston.
The parent club has a Green Monster in its outfield, but there aren't
many monsters in the outfield wearing uniforms. Troy O'Leary has left field
locked up, and the other two spots are shared by Darren Bragg, Darren
Lewis and Damon Buford.
Next spring, if not sooner, Nixon will get a chance to answer the
question as to whether, Yaz or no, he can play in the majors.
"It's taken some time," Schaefer said, "but he's really become a polished
player."

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